Enjoy a luxury getaway at Zen Beach Retreat at Bargara near Bundaberg and relax with the beauty of the Southern Great Barrier Reef on your doorstep.

As the first rays kiss the morning, I’m out on the deck saluting the sun on a yoga mat to the sounds of gentle rolling surf on the beach just out the front of Zen Beach Resort.

A beachfront life is a dream for many and at Zen Beach Resort at Bargara, just out of Bundaberg, you can make it come true, if only for the duration of your stay.

With the Southern Great Barrier Reef just offshore, Bargara offers a close and convenient way to access the reef’s glories and the chance to sample Bundaberg’s growing food and drink bowl.

Flight to Lady Eliot Island on the Southern Great Barrier Reef 

Zen Beach paradise

Zen Beach Retreat started out as an escape for international travellers Pascaline and Shane Emms.  Shane has Aussie roots but Pascaline hails from France.  Together they have travelled the world for work and pleasure, but it’s on the quiet beachfront at Bargara that they have found their patch of paradise.

And paradise it is, from the twinkling fairy lights under the thatched roof dining area to the deeply relaxing magnesium pool and spa that’s perfect for tired muscles to the sweeping beach views from the communal lounge deck.  Plus, there’s the rare treat of just walking down a few stairs to put your feet in the sand or go for a swim.

One end of the beach has a rock pool where swimmers can bop in the calm water or swim laps.  The other has small surf and lifesavers. It’s about 500 metres between the two and a popular stroll. The waves are small but perfect for paddle boarders and children.

Zen Beach villas

The two-story villas have a kitchen and dining area on the ground level and two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs.  All new, the kitchen is well equipped for holiday living.  If you don’t feel like cooking, simply order a platter from local seafood specialist Grunskies and enjoy it sitting on the beach front.

Each villa is themed as well travelled Pascaline and Shane have shared objects from their private collection to give the villas a personal touch. So, if you fancy a taste of France, ask for the French Villa or Asian and Chinese villas and a business villa with a workstation, but only use it if you must, the beach is much more fun.

Pascaline has thought of every creature comfort and outfitted the villas with thick white towels, crisp white sheets and Turkish towels to take to the beach. Block out the world with heavy curtains and blinds and turn on the air conditioning or open the windows and listen to the waves at night. 

She also is a great cook and made some delicious treats for us using local figs.  Here is her baked figs recipe.

The bathroom is well designed and has plenty of space for toiletries and nice little like a great hairdryer.  There’s also a magnifying mirror for makeup touch-ups.

Wondering what to do when you stay?

Pascaline is perfect host ready with suggestions for the area from reef excursions to dining options.  There’s plenty to do and see in the region so give yourself several days to explore.

Zen Beach Resort is an intriguing combination of self-catered accommodation with a more than a hint of luxury and the comfort of a host who knows how to make you comfortable.

The property is ideal for family reunions or special events.  Book out all four villas and you have the ultimate family getaway space with ample communal dining and play spaces and can accommodate up to 22 people.  With all bedrooms upstairs, the resort is better suited to those who can move freely and make the most of the beachside location.

During the turtle egg laying and hatching season, Mon Repos is a wonderful place to visit to discover the lifecycle of these fascinating animals. 

You also can take a day flight to Lady Elliot Island from Bundaberg.  It is a wonderful opportunity to snorkel and dive on the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

Where is it?

You’ll find Zen Beach Retreat at 54 Miller Street, Bargara, that’s about a 20-minute drive from Bundaberg airport. Villas cost around $500 per night.

This delightful stay at Bargara puts you right on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.  Find out more about staying in the region from Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK travelled with the support of Tourism and Events Queensland and Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism.